Yelling with my actions

Today’s post was originally titled “it’s all just yelling” but I ended up liking “yelling with my actions” better.

It paints the perfect picture for a very big concept.

Long ago (over a month ago in blogging time… almost ancient history!) I sat down with a few blank sheets of paper and a calendar to plan out my posts for this series.

My original idea was to have a short intro followed by 3-5 posts on each of the major ways we express anger.  My plan was to start with yelling, then move on to withdrawal, retaliation, hurtful words, and self-destruction.  Then I’d write a conclusion and be done.

It was a decent first plan.  I wrote a few posts on yelling.  The drafts were titled “here’s why I yell”, “here’s why it’s stupid” and “here’s what I should do instead.”

Titles aren’t my strength, ok?

Then I went to write a few posts on retaliation.  They were tentatively titled “here’s why I retaliate”, “here’s why it’s stupid” and “here’s what I should do instead.”

That’s when I realized something was HORRIBLY wrong with my original outline.

Actually, that’s when I threw my pencil across the room in frustration and yelled “it’s all just yelling!”

yelling with my actions

It’s all just yelling.

Yes.  Yelling is technically when I say things at a louder than normal volume.

What I normally do is probably more accurately called screaming.  It’s like yelling, only I say things I know I’ll regret later.  As my kids put it recently,

Screaming is when mommy yells with cussing.

Ouch.

screaming is yells with cussing

But what I’m really talking about is LOSING IT.  It’s the moment where I just lose control of myself because I’ve had. it. up. to. HERE.  It’s that instant where I cross the line beyond “motivating” and into inappropriate actions.

Why? Because I’m angry.

All yelling isn’t bad.

All anger isn’t bad.

Losing control because I’m angry and stressed and tired and hungry and frustrated – that’s the problem.

That loss of control normally shows up at my house in the form of yelling and even screaming.

But even when it shows up in it’s other forms, the reality is the same.

Anger –> Loss of Control –> Hurt and Regret

Even when it’s not yelling.

does the volume really matter

I’m also guilty of yelling with my actions.

My kids don’t see this.  Yet.

Somehow, I reserve most of this nonsense for my husband.

The slammed door on the refrigerator…  The loud sigh as I walk out of the room… Cooking his least favorite meal on purpose… “Forgetting” to send his mom a birthday greeting…

Every one of those is a not-so-subtle form of expressing my anger.  I may not make a sound, but I’m yelling with my actions.

It may not LOOK like I’m out of control, but I am.

Don’t cross the cook.

What kind of person would deliberately cook beef stroganoff and put it in front of her family KNOWING that no one else at the table likes it?  They won’t even EAT it.  I like it, but I know it’s not good for me.  So why in the world would I look up the recipe, drive to the store, buy the ingredients, spend time and energy cooking it, and then look FORWARD to serving it at dinner?

(I even left OUT the mushrooms because I know how much my husband LIKES mushrooms.  I served it with green peas because I might as well go all the way with this meal.)

One very ticked off person.

The thing is, I don’t even remember now what had me in a tiff.  I do remember the evil giggles as I cooked dinner.  I remember the anticipation I felt, knowing I was provoking my husband. I do remember my husband’s look as he sat down to dinner.  I do remember the gleeful feel in my heart as I whispered “don’t cross the cook.”

It was years ago, but I vividly remember how every single bite turned to stone in my stomach.

(I’ve since shortened the whole thing.  I just THREATEN to cook stroganoff.  We both laugh. Then we solve the problem.)

I’ll see your $50 and raise you $25.

What kind of person gets so mad at her husband for draining the last $50 out of the bank account to buy “car stuff” that she hauls off and spends $75 on new towels at Target?

Um, that would be me.  It was long ago (before kids), but I spent $75 we didn’t have on towels we didn’t need.  Because I was mad.

Are those the actions of an “in-control” woman or the actions of a woman controlled by her anger?

(For what it’s worth, the “car stuff” ended up being new headlights for my car – something I couldn’t drive without.  Oops.  I, um, returned the towels.)

slamming the door

Even when I don’t raise my voice, I’m still yelling with my actions.

It’s all just yelling.

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Visiting from SITS. Guess what? I came because the title intrigued me. Angry is weird because we don’t always recognize it. And I have always been fascinated that in the Bible the list of the fruits of the spirit has kindness, patience, gentlensess and then in the midst of all these lovely words, SELF CONTROL. Convicts me every time. Thanks for your vulnerabiity.
    Laura recently posted..How I cut down on laundry timeMy Profile

    • Laura, I’m doing an entire 31 day series on Anger. Come on back and follow along. 🙂 I love how God nestled self control in there with love and joy and peace. It not only convicts me, it gives me hope.

      Loved your laundry post. Highly recommend your method.

  2. What an awesome way to explain it. I’m glad you had that moment when you realized It’s All Just Yelling!

    I am definitely guilty of yelling and it isn’t always in anger…I even took a challenge to try and yell less. Let’s just say it is living up to the task of being a challenge.
    Tiffany recently posted..The October Daily Challenge: The Nose Has It!My Profile

    • Sometimes I yell because it just works, or because the kids aren’t in the same room, or because someone is about to get hit by a car or something. Not yelling at all would be very difficult indeed!

      Since I started working on this 31 day series on anger I’ve yelled less. Being intentional does seem to make a big difference. 🙂

  3. First love your site. I am a yeller I yell when I get frustrated and have to ask my kids or the hubs to do things more than once. I get frustrated because it only gets done if I yell which is sad. I am learning to use other methods to get things done without yelling and so far its working. Great post stopping over from SITS
    Kita recently posted..The curse of the side itemsMy Profile

    • First, thank you and welcome! 🙂

      I yell less than I did a month ago, but I’m still a yeller. Finding other ways to motivate my kids is hard, but I’m discovering it really is worth the effort!

  4. We all get angry at times. But what I hear in your post in your anger is born out of frustration. It hurts when life, work, kids, husband, responsibilities drive us to the boiling point – I remember it all very clearly! It’s hard to admit our short comings – thank you for putting yourself out there, it takes a brave woman to do that! Great post. (BTW – found you through Sharefest!)

  5. I’m not much of a voice-yeller but I sure am a champion at door slamming. I always think it will feel good but it doesn’t. All I feel is regret which, as you say, takes my action directly into the yelling realm.
    By the way, I don’t know about you but I find that slamming the refrigerator door is even less satisfying than slamming a cabinet door because the refrigerator door closes so quietly no matter the force used.
    Mo recently posted..This Old Lady Loved Bloggy Boot Camp MinneapolisMy Profile

  6. Our pastor had a great tactic to try and stop yelling at his kids. Every time they caught him yelling, he had to pay them a dollar. With four kids and a pastor’s salary, that was an effective deterrent! #SITSSharefest
    Adrian recently posted..Clutterbugs: Easy 30-Minute Pantry Re-OrganizationMy Profile

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